Keys to delivering cloud services on-time – and why it matters

by in IT Operations Management

How does cloud service delivery compare to pizza delivery?

Twenty years ago, we didn't think that we would be ordering food online in the not-so-distant future. There is a close parallel when it comes to IT infrastructure and platform services. Today, requesting a cloud service is as simple as ordering a pizza online. All you need is a credit card. However, what the customers care about is the speed of delivery. In some countries, if the restaurant doesn't deliver a pizza on time, it's free – which must be the hardest but, in many ways, also the smartest SLA I have ever seen. If only the IT operations teams and service providers would adopt the same SLA standards when delivering services to their lines of business and to customers.

The automation to deploy a service has become a commodity

There are several automation tools in the market offered as open-source, and there are multiple vendors that can help you deploy services in a hybrid multi-cloud environment. Besides service delivery, service availability is even more pronounced. There are thousands of services provided by numerous vendors in various public cloud marketplace portals.

Is rapid service delivery achievable with increased IT complexity?

The problems often occur when ordering services becomes a frequent daily activity, with provisioning from multiple cloud vendors, in a hybrid IT ecosystem. Does your automation tool help you achieve on-time delivery in such circumstances? In addition to providing services from various clouds, IT operations teams also need to be able to build customized environments and private clouds that best suit the needs of the lines of business teams and that at the same time meet compliance standards and fit within budget.
 
 Cloud Management Platform (CMP) should provide a way to integrate with multiple cloud vendors' marketplace portals and give access to thousands of services immediately through aggregation. In this way, the IT team can choose the desired service, enforce the required governance around it, and offer it on the end user's catalog with ease. Sometimes IT also needs to add additional services on top, or customize the public cloud services or private cloud hypervisors' VM templates to meet end-user needs more fully, thus optimizing the overall business performance. The CMP solution should provide an easy way to achieve all these goals while also providing a service designer canvas UI with drag and drop functionality for simple authoring. Using this approach, IT can even be confident adopting the "pizza delivery SLA standards" while catering to the needs of the end-users.
When IT is delivering at the speed of DevOps requirements, governance is necessary. This allows IT to limit end-users to choose from only an approved, preselected list of: instance sizes, regions, price brackets, etc. Furthermore, once the end-user requests the service from the catalog, the cloud spend should be tracked and made visible to the finance team for optimization insights, billing information, and cross charging - who is spending what, how much and which services.

Cloud Management Platform improves DevOps, CI/CD approach

 Lines of business teams - namely the development teams, face challenging problems when setting up the CI/CD automation. The CI/CD release pipeline should automate the frequent provisioning of test infrastructure, install, or configure software, take docker images through multiple gates, and finally roll out the application on the production. The CMP solution helps complete the continuous delivery part of the CI/CD pipeline by allowing the release automation engineer to properly configure the IT offerings. The main advantages that CMP brings to the table with regard to the CI/CD approach are encapsulated in:

  • enabled cloud-agnostic deployments - deploy on any environment, in any cloud
  • enabled rapid provisioning and de-provisioning - improve iteration cycles and time to market
  • enabled end-to-end governance - ensure compliance, access controls, and peace of mind

Let's take a look at an example. The test cycle may include short-lived crash and burn services from the public cloud.  Alternatively, the stage and production environments need private or public cloud services that will be used for longer durations. Further, we know that the public cloud offers reserved instances that many enterprises are widely using to reduce costs in the long term. And finally, after each stage (test, staging, and production), the resources should be released by canceling the subscription automatically to avoid incurring unnecessary costs. The right CMP solution assists in all of these areas to serve as a gift to both developers and IT admins.

CMP and ITSM integration

It is also beneficial to integrate Cloud Management Platform with an IT Service Management solution, which offers support in many areas – ticketing for enabling firewall settings for the deployed services, creating incidents in case of request fails, and introducing change management for production rollout to name a few. ITSM and CMP together make a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
 
The Micro Focus' approach to cloud management

In a nutshell, the Cloud Management Platform solution should satisfy both IT operations and the development teams by cutting out hybrid IT complexity, facilitating improved productivity, ensuring compliance, and optimizing costs over time. This way the end-users will enjoy ordering cloud services as much as their favorite style of pizza - and receiving services on time. And the IT operations teams will delight in meeting requests with ease, speed, and governance.
Our Micro Focus solutions aim to satisfy the IT operations’ and development teams’ requirements most effectively. For more information, please visit: www.microfocus.com/hybridcloud
 

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Hybrid Cloud Management
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